Pitt’s Pat Narduzzi improves to No. 42 in Sporting News’ ranking of college football coaches
The college football off-season has only about a month left, which makes it time for Sporting News’ annual ranking of the coaches, 1-130.
Not surprisingly, the top 25 is the exclusive domain of the Power 5, led by the Big Ten with seven coaches, followed by the SEC with six, the Big 12 with five, the Pac-12 with four, the ACC with two and Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly.
Pat Narduzzi, on the strength of Pitt’s first ACC Coastal championship and an appearance in the ACC title game last season, moved up from No. 50 last year to No. 42. Yet, he’s only seventh in the ACC, behind No. 2 and reigning national champion Dabo Swinney of Clemson, No. 24 Mack Brown of North Carolina (244 career victories and a national championship at Texas as he enters his first season in Chapel Hill), No. 27 David Cutcliffe of Duke, No. 34 Dino Babers of Syracuse, No. 35 Dave Doeren of N.C. State and No. 38 Justin Fuente of Virginia Tech.
Only a little research shows that Narduzzi is 6-1 against Cutcliffe and Babers while scoring 309 points in those seven games. He’s lost two of three to Fuente and is 0-1 vs. Doeren.
Penn State’s James Franklin drops from No. 12 to 14, and Sporting News points out Franklin’s 3-12 record the past five seasons against Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State. West Virginia’s first year coach Neal Brown checks in at No. 26 after a successful career at Troy. Former WVU coach Dana Holgorsen dropped out of the Power 5 to Houston and from No. 31 to No. 56 in the SN rankings.
Former Pitt coach Paul Chryst fell from No. 16 to No. 14, but the head man at Wisconsin has the fifth-best record in the Power 5 over the past three seasons (32-9).
Jerry DiPaola is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jerry by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .